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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

CHAPTER   XI.

THE TBKBE HILL PLACES OF MATHrsX : GOBABDHAN, * BABSJtSA, AHB

AT a distance of three miles from the city of Ilathura7 the road to Gobar-
dhan runs tbrongli the village of Satohaf by the side of a large tank of very
sacred rep ate* called San tana Kiind* The name commemorates a Raja Santann
who (as Is said'on the spot) here practised, through a long course of jears? the
severest religions austerities In the hope of obtaining a son. His wishes were
at last ^ratifis! by a union "%vith the goddess Ckmga, who bore him Bhishma, one
of the famous heroes of the MahibhArat. Every Sunday the place is frequented
by women who are desirous of Issue, and a large fair Is held there oa the 6th
of the light fortnight of BhMoa. The tank, which Is of very considerable
dimensions, was faced all round with sione, eiurly last century, by Sawal Jay
Sink of Amber, but a greal part of the mason ? Is now much dilapidated, in its
centre is a high hill connected with the ma" i Isnd by a bridge. Tue sides of
the Island are covered with fine rttha tree , and on the summits which is
approached by a flight of fifty stone steps^ is a sn. Ul temple. Here It is IQCTIHI-
bent upon the female devotees, who would have their prayers effectual, to make
some offering to the shrine, and Inscribe on the grotaid or wall the mystic device
called in Sanskrit Svastika and In Hindi Sathiya, the fylfot of Western ecele-
sidogy. The local superstition is probavr.y not a little confirmed by ilia acci-
dental resemblance that the king's name bears to the Sanskrit word for ' children,*
mntdna* For, though Eaja Sintanu. is a pathological personage of much ancient
ceiebritjj being mentioned net only in several of the Paranas? but also in one
of the hymns of the Rig ¥eda. lie is not much known at the present day, and
-what is told of Mai at Satoha is a very confused jumble of the original legend.
The signal and, according to Hindu ideas, absolutely fearful abnegation of self,
there ascribed to the father, was undergone for Ms gratification by the dntifol
son, who thence derived his name of Bhi-lima, c the fearful.* For3 in extreme
old age, the Baja was anxious to wed again, but the parents of the fair girl on
wliom he fixed 'his affections would not consent to the naion3 since the fruit
of the marriage would be debarred by Bhishma'a seniority from the succession
to the throne. The difficulty was removed by Bhishma's filial devotion, who